Donna Rae McNeil, 63, of Claremont, NH, passed away on Wednesday February 9, 2022. Just as she wanted, she was at her home surrounded by her beloved family. Donna was born in Claremont, NH, on August 25, 1958, to Raymond O. Tewksbury and Shirley A. Tewksbury (Clay). Upon graduation from Stevens High school in 1976 she started her family, having three children with her first husband Timothy Cross. She met the love of her life, Michael McNeil, in February of 1982. They married in November of that year and would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year.
Donna started her career working in the restaurant industry, eventually working her way up to managing multiple Claremont restaurants, including The Pleasant, Joey’s, and The Junction. She continued her career in operations management, ultimately retiring from Corning in 2016.
Donna had multiple interests. She enjoyed golfing with her husband Michael, belonging to both the Windsor and Claremont Country Clubs. They were also active members at the Claremont Elks for many years. As an avid reader she greatly enjoyed romance novels, especially those by her favorite author, Danielle Steele. Donna greatly enjoyed music, dancing, bowling, horseshoes, board games and winning at poker. She was a born nurturer, and it was reflective in the vast flower gardens surrounding their Claremont home where she enjoyed entertaining and relaxing by the swimming pool.
A selfless woman, Donna was always caring for and thinking of others. She loved taking care of her family and her door was always open. She enjoyed gatherings of friends and family where her contagious smile and taco salad were always a hit. Donna’s real passion was her love for Michael and the family they built. Spending time with her children and grandchildren was a necessity. She loved fiercely and always. Her love was never ending, and it was palpable when she was in your presence. “It is what it is.”
She is survived by her husband, Michael McNeil, her son Tony Cross and his wife Dana of Maui, HI; her son Drew Cross and his wife Katy Raynor of Lee; her daughter Sara Garland and her husband Eric of Somersworth. Also, her grandchildren, Andraia, Elisabeth, Makena, Sierra, and Qynn; great granddaughter Lilliana; brothers Steven and his wife Karen of Nelson; Michael and his wife Rhonda of Charlestown; Gregg and his wife Julie of Keene;Daniel and his wife Lauren of Chester (NH) and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her father Raymond Tewksbury, mother Shirley Tewksbury and longtime best friend, Wendy Downing.
Calling hours will be Wednesday February 16, 2022, from 4pm and 7pm at the Stringer Funeral Home, 146 Broad Street in Claremont. All friends and family are welcome. A celebration of life will be arranged in the spring of 2022. The family is requesting that masks be worn during this time.
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